This Week's Facts:
Thanksgiving Fast Facts
As Thanksgiving Day approaches, here are some numbers to whet your appetite:
In 2012, 672,370 tons of green beans were contracted for production in the United States. Of this total, Wisconsin led all states with 309,010 tons.
254 million turkeys are expected to be raised in the United States in 2012, up 2% from the number raised during 2011. Minnesota is the top state with 46 million.
If you prefer cherry pie to pumpkin, you will be pleased to learn that the nation’s forecasted tart cherry production for 2012 totals 73.1 million pounds. Of this 2012 total, Pennsylvania led the country, producing an estimated 34 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
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Thanksgiving is a Time to Share, Help Those in Need
For many families, Thanksgiving is another day to survive without food and shelter. Hoosier families all over Indiana find themselves relying on kindness of volunteers, shelters, and pantries in order to have a decent meal for the holidays. Connect 2 Help has a list of providers in Indiana that offer Thanksgiving meals and assistance. If you’re unable to access the internet, call 2-1-1 to get assistance and information.
On September 28, 1789, just before leaving for recess, the first Federal Congress passed a resolution asking that the President of the United States recommend to the nation a day of thanksgiving. A few days later, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a "Day of Publick Thanksgivin" - the first time Thanksgiving was celebrated under the new Constitution. Subsequent presidents issued Thanksgiving Proclamations, but the dates and even months of the celebrations varied. It wasn't until President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Proclamation that Thanksgiving was regularly commemorated each year on the last Thursday of November.
In 1939, however, the last Thursday in November fell on the last day of the month. Concerned that the shortened Christmas shopping season might dampen the economic recovery, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a Presidential Proclamation moving Thanksgiving to the second to last Thursday of November. As a result of the proclamation, 32 states issued similar proclamations while 16 states refused to accept the change and proclaimed Thanksgiving to be the last Thursday in November. For two years two days were celebrated as Thanksgiving - the President and part of the nation celebrated it on the second to last Thursday in November, while the rest of the country celebrated it the following week.
To end the confusion, Congress decided to set a fixed-date for the holiday. On October 6, 1941, the House passed a joint resolution declaring the last Thursday in November to be the legal Thanksgiving Day. The Senate, however, amended the resolution establishing the holiday as the fourth Thursday, which would take into account those years when November has five Thursdays. The House agreed to the amendment, and President Roosevelt signed the resolution on December 26, 1941, thus establishing the fourth Thursday in November as the Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday.
For more details and resources, please visit the National Archives.
As Thanksgiving approaches, more and more people will be traveling in the next few weeks for holidays and family vacations. It’s never a bad thing to remind yourself of safety precautions to take before you hit the road or airport, or to check out those airport lines before you head there. USA.gov puts all your travel resources in one place so you don’t have to spend time searching for the right answers.
If you’re traveling by air this holiday season, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the best place to go for accurate flying information. Before you leave the house, confirm the proper type of ID that will get you through security, your options if randomly selected for a pat down, and any other travel questions you have.
TSA also provides options to speed up your travel time. TSA PreCheck is a new program used in some airports across the country to speed up your time through security checkpoints. Through TSA PreCheck you don’t have to remove your shoes or liquids, and children 12 or younger are automatically allowed through with you. TSA also offer an app, MyTSA, you can use to check real time operating statuses at U.S. airports.
If you’ll be spending a lot of time on the roads this holiday season, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has lots of information on proper child safety while driving, as well as specific campaigns for Thanksgiving holiday travel, and driving safely during pre-holiday festivities, reminding people not to drink and drive. Before hitting the road, find out about road closures and national traffic information from the Department of Transportation.
And if you plan to travel abroad, the State Department provides a free service for U.S. citizens: the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP lets you enter your trip information before you travel, so in case of an emergency abroad, the State Department will be able to assist you faster and more easily.
No matter how you are traveling this holiday season, take a few minutes to read up on easy ways to avoid problems, lines, and traffic so you can get straight to enjoying your vacation.
This information is brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the USA.gov blog.
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